PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum director Greg Anderson says the growing interest in new kinds of mineral exploration - away from a reliance on copper, gold and silver - will also protect the sector from market fluctuations.
"We've now got mineral sand ... there's a new generation of exploration going on," he told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat program.
"Even rare earths, coal and coal seam gas for the first time. And coal, we've known about coal deposits for quite a long time, but no one's really taken a serious look at them."
Mr Anderson's comments come as the Chinese-owned Ramu nickel project prepares to go into full production next month.
He said it was a "big step forward" that will widen the country's production base. ABC